GPs' pensions must be protected if reforms are to gain support

GPs' pensions must be protected to maintain high morale as the profession takes on commissioning responsibility, the chairman of the Conservative Medical Society has warned.

Mr Osborne is to cut protection of public sector pension rights
Mr Osborne is to cut protection of public sector pension rights

Talking to GP Dr Paul Charlson said the government has to handle any pension renegotiations ‘incredibly carefully’ to ensure it does not alienate GPs.

It comes as The Times reports that chancellor George Osborne is set to cut protection of public sector pension rights to encourage private companies and charities to run more public sector services.

Dr Charlson warned renegotiating pension arrangements at the same time as asking GPs to take responsibility for commissioning is a risky move. He said any intention to interfere with GP pensions will ‘not go down well’ with the profession.

‘The government will be reliant on GPs to make these [commissioning] changes, and it will only work if GPs are generally supportive,' he said.

‘The government is not exactly stuffing doctors’ mouths with gold. It will take a lot of extra effort to get involved in this. If there are too many things that upset GPs it’s going to make them more reluctant to move changes forward.’

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